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Saturday, 19 July 2014

As the world looks the other way.

As the world looks the other way.

Malaysia Airlines MH17 G3 gate of Schiphol Airport i

Readers are by now aware that on July 17, 2014, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 flight MH17, crashed in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board. It has since been established that the most likely cause of the crash was a surface to air missile launched from within the pro-Russian area of eastern Ukraine and probably from pro-Russian rebels holding the area. Since news of the crash became widespread knowledge, reporters from the Western media have been seen on a daily basis filling our television screens with reports from the crash site, Schiphol airport, Kiev, Washington and London. Sky News and BBC News have carried lengthy reports of the crash and analysis of surface-to-air missiles and those persons in eastern Ukraine using them. The front pages of all our newspapers have been full of stories, comment and analysis since last Thursday. It is as if all other stories or other news slipped into limbo with nothing else happening anywhere in the world.

All this time of course the Israeli aggression in Gaza with almost constant air strikes and naval bombardment of the area has continued unabated and since Friday Israeli tanks and artillery bombarded the area from the North and thousands of troops have invaded Gaza. In the same few days another seven Palestinian children have been killed by Israeli missiles and bombs while playing on a beach in Gaza city killed by naval gunfire and three killed playing on the roof of some apartments in the city. This brings the total number of children killed during the 10 days of the Israeli aggression to over 50 and more than 2,000 people, many women and children seriously injured. The total number of people killed by this latest attack by Israel on Gaza is now more than 300.


The fact that these stories emanating from Gaza have been reduced to less than 3 minutes of coverage on the major news programs, with the exception perhaps of Al Jazeera, and minor entries on the front page (sometimes), of our national newspapers, demonstrates the extent to which the media and television play down events in the Middle East generally and Palestine in particular. Add to this, the fact that once again, Israel is involved in acts of aggression in the occupied territories and seeks to justify such aggression on the grounds of defending its citizens. It has already been abundantly clear for many years that Israel can do no wrong in the eyes of Western governments. Since 1948 Israel has enjoyed unqualified support from the Americans and from successive governments of the United Kingdom and some in Europe. At the United Nations Security Council, the United States has frequently invoked the use of its veto to block any motion or resolution, remotely critical of Israel or Israeli actions. I have often argued that this unconditional support for Israel from most governments in the West is brought about by what appears to be a collective guilty conscience in respect of events in Europe during the mid-20th century. Israel invariably resorts to the use of the Holocaust card whenever any criticism is levelled at it's government or individuals in the military or in its administration. In this way Israel has avoided any responsibility for its actions in expansion, aggression and occupation of Palestine and the forced removal of Palestinians from their homes and the expansion of settlements in the occupied territories by Israeli settlers intent on annexing lands in Palestine Syria Lebanon and Jordan.

The current situation in Gaza is but the latest episode in the history of the Middle East going back to the start of the Israeli nation in 1948. Successive Israeli governments have by conquest, annexed huge areas of Palestinian lands which were designated as Arab areas following the expiry of the British mandate for Palestine in 1947. Not least of all Israel has now seized control of all of East Jerusalem and is rapidly building new settlements in that city, exclusively for Israeli occupation. These few facts are perhaps indicative of why there is suspicion perhaps even hostility towards the West in many Arab peoples.

Gaza Civilians in the rubble.

As the Israeli invasion of Gaza goes into its third day, with the almost incessant bombardment by tanks and naval units together with the bombing from aircraft and drones, the world's attention has been diverted to East Ukraine and the alleged shooting down of Malaysian airlines flight MH17.The deaths of the passengers and crew is a tragedy and rightly should be reported. In the event that the crash is ultimately determined to be as a result of the firing of an anti-aircraft missile by one or other of the warring factions in the region, then they should be the fullest investigation and those responsible should be held accountable for their actions. However it seems that these events in Ukraine, have been used by Western governments to divert public attention away from what is taking place in Gaza and the excesses of the Israeli defence forces. In this, Western governments have been enthusiastically assisted by Western media and television and their excessive reporting of the events and the speculation of what may or may not have occurred. It seems that what happened in East Ukraine on 17 July as provided in opportunity for the West in Washington, London and other European capitals, to bury the bad news from the Middle East behind a fog of wild speculation and intense criticism of Russia and Vladimir Putin.

In the meantime away from the gaze of the international media Israeli tanks ships and aircraft continue with the assault on the population of Gaza destroying houses, hospitals, mosques and other infrastructure in the determination to degrade and Hamas and create the circumstances for eventual occupation and annexation of all of Palestine. The human cost in the continuation of this invasion will invariably be the deaths of countless more civilians both women and children, as Israel drives for complete domination of the region.

I have recently posted on this blog an account of how some of my postings have been censored by well-known publications.
It is therefore unlikely that this criticism of Western governments the world media and Israeli actions in Gaza, will be viewed beyond the postings of New Agenda, my Facebook page, New Agenda on Sunday or my Twitter account. However it has always been my belief the media has a responsibility if not the duty, to report on events in a balanced and unbiased fashion regardless of any pressures or persuasions which may be placed upon them by governments or other bodies. I have already suggested why governments are reluctant to criticise Israel or Israeli actions, but it is sad perhaps even sinister, that the media in the Western world should seek to play down or perhaps even conceal events taking place in Gaza and criticism of Israel.